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WA Lege Day 47: A little snow, a lot of bills

Washington state Capitol Building after a snow storm, Feb. 25, 2011.  (Jim Camden/The Spoksman-Review)
Washington state Capitol Building after a snow storm, Feb. 25, 2011. (Jim Camden/The Spoksman-Review)

OLYMPIA --Much of the South Puget Sound is closed or moving slow today, scared back to bed apparently by Seattle television weather persons proclaiming a snow-pocalypse. It's actually a rare day in Olympia, with snow on the ground and blue skies.

The Legislature has floor action in both houses this morning and bill hearings in Ways and Means committees through the afternoon.

The Senate will be debating bills on foreign trade zones, partnership zones and shoreline management, among others, with some breaks for levity because several bills represent the first time freshmen will be sponsoring a bill on the floor.  The House bills include topics like unclaimed remains, child fatality reviews, veteran's preferences and the landlord tenant act.

Senate Ways and Means started at 8 a.m. and members are ordered to report a half hour after the floor debates end. House Ways and Means starts at 1:30 p.m. with a long list of bills that include eligibility for the state's Basic Health Plan and what to do about precinct committee officer elections if there is no presidential primary next year.

The rush is spurred by another one of those pesky "cut off days." Any bill that doesn't get out of its first Ways and Means or Transportation committee today is dead, or at least so close to death that they need parliamentary maneuvering to come back to life.

It is Hunger Action Day. There's a rally for "Off-highway Vehicle Awareness"

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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